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The Landmine of Sexual Sin - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2023 12:00 am

The Landmine of Sexual Sin - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 23, 2023 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley teaches how to receive God's forgiveness for potential past failures.


Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, February twenty-third. Today's program warns Christians about the dangers of immorality, another of the hazardous landmines in the path of the believer. We live in a very sensual society, and it appears that lust and immorality has become a way of life for many people.

No excuse, just a way of life. And when I think about that, and I think about one of the tragedies is that we have allowed the unbelievers around us to redefine what is right and wrong. And as a result, there's a great deal of compromise, not only in the life of people who are unbelievers, but in the life of people who are believers. We've listened to their redefining of right and wrong. We have strayed away from the Word of God, which He states very clearly, what's right, what's wrong. What is good, what is evil in the eyes of God.

And the very idea that we'd allow them to redefine morality is unacceptable. And not only that, it will lead ultimately to regret, shame, loss, and the judgment of God. Because you see, we're living in a society that shame and sin don't exist as long as what you're after satisfies some pursuit or some pleasure that you're after.

What is the truth about sexual sin? I want you to turn to First Thessalonians chapter four and I want us to read these first eight verses together. Now, people oftentimes say, but, well, you know, that's just your opinion.

And I can understand people thinking that. But what I'm going to do in these first eight verses, I'm just going to read you what God said. It just doesn't get any clearer than this. It just doesn't get any clearer than this. It just doesn't get any clearer than this. It just doesn't get any clearer than this. It just doesn't get any clearer than this.

It just doesn't get any clearer than this. Finally then, brethren, the request and exhortation, you and the Lord Jesus. He says that as you receive from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God, just as you actually do walk and you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For you know how to possess His own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God, and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter, because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man, but the God who gives the Holy Spirit to him. Now, let's take a moment to look at this passage and then I want to move on.

Look at this. He says, first of all, it's the will of God that we abstain from any kind of sexual immorality. And he said that each of you would know how to possess his own vessel. What he's referring to here, the word possess, he really means to take.

Now, watch what he says. To take his own vessel, that is his wife, that's what he's referring to. And the rabbis usually use this same word for a wife. So, he's saying that each of you should know how to take a wife in sanctification and honor. That is, take her with the right attitude, with the right spirit, God's leading in your life, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles or the unbelievers, as he would say, who do not know God.

Here's what he's saying. That a person should, a man for example, should choose his wife. The woman should choose her husband, not on the base of lust after some sexual experience, but on the basis of the fact of honoring that woman or that man and recognizing who they are. That they're children of God and that God's mean that's in His method of bringing two people together is not built around sex, it's built around the spirit of intimacy. Intimacy has to do with the spirit. Intimacy has to do with closeness. Intimacy has to do with getting to know each other on a deeper level.

And oftentimes, that begins maybe in some people's lives. And what happens is then it slips over into the sexual experience and here's what happens. Intimacy is gone. You cannot have sexual immorality and intimacy at the same time. Because what is, because you see, what that is is a matter of yielding to lust. Here's what lust says. Somebody says, well, but isn't lust and love alike?

No. Here's the difference. If I love you, I want what's best for you. If I'm lusting after you, I want what's good for me. And so, lust is all about me.

Love is all about the other person. When somebody says, well, but I have these needs and God created me with these needs and these needs have to be met and therefore it's not my fault, it's God's fault. Well, God's not going to do anything that makes it His fault. While He's created this desire within our heart, He's created these needs within our life, He's created them, but also He has given within us the right and the power to choose wisely and to obey Him. And what's happened is this, when we do not understand the purpose for which God created us and the awesome pleasure and the fulfillment and the sense of contentment and joy that God intended for sex and that relationship to be, it just all gets out of sorts. It gets all complex and what happens is it loses everything God intended for it to be.

That's why it doesn't work. And so, this is what He's referring to here. So, He says, listen, he who rejects this, not rejecting man, but rejecting the God who said it. You can take that verse and verse three and settle the issues of sexual immorality. All the excuses in the world crumble between those two verses. Now, let's think for just a moment about some biblical warnings that God has given. And, for example, let's just start with the Ten Commandments.

Think about how short this is. In other words, somebody said, well, I don't understand it. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not commit, under five words, in the Hebrew it's less words than that. And in, for example, in first Corinthians, when Paul was writing to his society, which was a very, very corrupt, sensual society, listen to what he says as he reminds them in the sixth chapter and the eighteenth verse. Here's what he says. He says, flee immorality, run from it. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man commits it. And if you're a Christian, you're going to be a Christian.

What's the meaning of that? You're going to be a Christian. You're going to be a Christian. You're going to be a Christian. You're going to be a Christian. And so, the moral man commits sin against his own body. There is something about the sexual sin that does affect the human body. And people say, well, it's not bothering me. It's not affecting me. Oh, yes it is.

Yes it is. And then here's what he says. Once you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, listen, you gave yourself to Him. And He sent the Holy Spirit to live on the inside of you, which is His way of sealing you forever as a child of God. And what I want to remind you of is this, the world is redefining morality and many believers oftentimes pick up on that. None of us, not a single believer, has the right to do anything we want to with this body because he says, you're not your own, you've been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body. So ask yourself the question, can immorality glorify God? No. Any kind of sexual sin glorify God?

Absolutely not. So when you come to these passages, and there are many others, there's not a single way, there's not a single verse you can use to persuade or to convince someone honestly that sexual immorality is right. And so, when we come to these passages and notice and realize what Paul is saying here, he certainly understood the society in which he lived. It was a major problem in Corinth in those days. It was a major issue in all of those big cities and probably the small ones too, but when he talks about Ephesus and Athens and Corinth and all the rest, these big trade centers, these are major problems.

And this is why he had so much to say about it. Now, the question is, where does sexual sin begin? It begins where every sin begins. And that is, it begins with temptation, the enticement to do evil, the enticement to be drawn away from God, the enticement to disobey God, the enticement to rebel against God, the enticement to do what I want when I want it, no matter what the price and the cost of someone else. Where does it all start? Well, James tells us that answer in this first chapter.

And here's what he says. James the first chapter and the fourteenth verse. He says, But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Not by somebody else's lust, can't blame it on anybody else. We're tempted and we're drawn away by our own lust.

Then he says, Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. So, where does it begin? Now, watch this. This is where it starts, starts right here in the mind. Now, the thought comes. And so, if you let it keep going, then there's imagination.

Imagine what this would be like. Then there's identification. You put yourself in that position mentally. And then you make a choice. Then you consent. And so, what happens, what begins in the mind, unless it is dealt with, can absolutely destroy you and the things in life that you value the most. Now, if this comes to your life and let's say that you indulge, let's say that you, somebody would say make a mistake, or just let's say that you indulge in one form of sex or the other. And so, then you deal with it right then.

If you do not, here's what happens. Satan gets a toehold and before long a stronghold in your life. You say, Well, what is a stronghold?

A stronghold is an area of your life in which you have disobeyed God one or more times, in which Satan now has a little control. And if you continue, he has more and more control. And remember this, sexual sin is, the nature of sexual sin is this, that as you continue in that sin, it will get worse and worse and worse. Because there is absolutely no way to continue in sexual sin and things finally get better. It's the nature of sexual sin. Remember, from God's perspective, the reason He created us was for an intimate relationship with us. And He sees that on the one hand, He's given us this awesome privilege to be one with Him, which is the sum and bonum of all of life, to be one with Him. And secondly, that that has now been distorted by disobedience and by obeying our own lust. That's why it's so important to God that we live a godly life. Because listen, once given over to sexual sin, intimacy is impossible.

There has to be a radical change. If you've been saved, you're always saved. By the mercy and grace and love of God at the cross, He atoned for our sin, past, present and future, sin debt paid in full. But as a believer, if you and I choose to live a life of disobedience, involved in sexual sin, we lose it. We lose our capacity and the privilege to have an intimate relationship with God because we have prostituted one of the most awesome opportunities that we have. And so, what I want you to remember is this.

We have to either deal with it early or we're going to find ourselves greatly, greatly in trouble. Now, think about this. If you cannot live without lusting, you will never have an intimate relationship.

Listen, with another person or with God. If you're caught up in lust, as long as you're caught up in lust, you cannot have an intimate relationship. Because love and lust are not the same. Love, and I've said it before, love is all about you giving of ourselves to one another. Lust is about me, what I want, meet my need, at your expense, whatever that may be. And so, the world wants to mix the two.

That's what I said. They want to redefine what's sensuality is, redefine what's sexuality is, redefine what is right, redefine what is wrong, redefine our whole sense of morality. Now, I'm telling you, we must not allow that to happen. God's people need to stand for the truth, live the truth, stand for the truth, declare the truth, whatever the world wants to do. Listen, unbelief cannot alter the truth. This is the truth of the Word of God. And somebody says, well, I don't believe the Bible. Then you're in a real mess.

For the simple reason, you have thrown away the instruction book. You have thrown away the God book to life when you toss this out of your life. And what you've said is, I don't not only want the Bible in my life, I don't want the God of the Bible in my life. This is God's inspired Word. And so, when somebody says, well, I just don't want that in my life, you are headed for destruction, you're on your way there, no matter what you think, what you say, what you excuse, how you defend it, the Word of God is crystal clear about obedience and disobedience.

There is a penalty. Now, here's a statement I want you to write down so get your pen ready. Because somebody says, well, now this temptation business, I want you to write down, the power of temptation is this. The power of temptation is the deceptive offer. The power of temptation is the deceptive offer of immediate pleasure without penalty. Immediate pleasure without penalty. It's the deceptive offer of immediate pleasure without penalty. Because if people thought about this carefully, well, if I commit this act, here's the penalty. If you will remember that statement, that the deceptive offer of temptation is you can have immediate pleasure with no penalty, that is the devil's lie. It has always been and it is and you cannot change that. Unbelief cannot change the principles of God.

Unbelief cannot alter what is true. And so, when it comes to this whole issue of how it starts, where it all comes from, let's look at that for just a moment. Because I want us to look at the underlying causes of it. That is, what causes sexual immorality? You say, well, it's just two people making a decision.

No, it's more than that. There's one word. If you, you can put the basis of all immorality is one word.

And the word is real short and real simple. The word is need. I need this. It's need, the basis is need. Now, depending upon what the immorality is, will determine what that basic need is.

For example, one of them is this, the need to feel accepted, the need to feel accepted, the need to feel wanted by somebody. And I remember once in a college retreat and we were talking about the self-image and so forth, and I will never forget this young lady stood up and she said, well, I want to thank you for this, she said, tonight I understand for the first time in my life why I've been sleeping around. She said this in front of about a hundred and sixty-some college students. She said, I understand why I've been sleeping around.

She's my father this and told her about her dad and so forth. And she said, I realize I have this, whatever her word was, what she was saying is insatiable desire to be accepted, to be wanted by somebody. And she says, just to feel that for a few moments was worth my giving up my purity. Did you know that before that retreat was over that night, we stayed that about quarter to twelve, listening to testimonies over and over and over again about the need of acceptance. Parents are rejected, their kids and all kind of things. The desire to be accepted, the desire to be wanted, and the feeling and the desire to have an intimate relationship. And as we said, that's part of what God created us for.

And so that need, it's a legitimate need, but when it gets out of boundaries, it becomes a disaster. Thank you for listening to today's podcast, The Landmine of Sexual Sin. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-23 05:35:41 / 2023-02-23 05:43:53 / 8

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